People living with Diabetes in Ireland now have access to First-Of-Its-Kind Diabetes Sensing Technology
– Revolutionary System Eliminates the need for routine finger pricking
A revolutionary glucose sensing technology developed by Abbott (NYSE:ABT) is now available in Ireland for the first time. Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System means that adults and children (aged 4 years and older), living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in Ireland can now monitor their diabetes without the pain and hassle of routine finger pricks.
A person with diabetes typically self-monitors their glucose by pricking their fingers to draw a drop of blood that is added to a test strip and inserted into a glucose meter. This needs to be done several times a day to check glucose levels and can be painful. With advice from their healthcare professional, adjustments to insulin, diet and activity levels can then be made to help achieve better glycaemic control. However according to research there is often reluctance from people with diabetes, especially children and adolescents, to perform this task, based in part on the discomfort and pain of finger pricking.
“One of the hardest parts of living with diabetes is the constant monitoring of glucose levels. Sticking a lancet into my finger a few times a day is very painful – and it’s awkward in work and social situations. Any new monitoring system which does away with the need for finger prick testing will make a huge difference. For me, Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre System means better control over my diabetes”, said Kevin Nolan, the Dublin GAA star who has Type 1 diabetes.
Abbott′s FreeStyle Libre system is designed to change how people with diabetes measure their glucose levels and ultimately achieve better health. The system consists of a small, round sensor — approximately the size of two stacked 50-cent coins — worn on the back of the upper arm for up to 14 days. A handheld reader is scanned over the sensor to get a glucose result painlessly in less than one second, without the need to draw blood. In addition, the FreeStyle Libre system does not require a finger stick test for calibration, whereas other continuous glucose monitoring systems might require two or more calibrations per day.
Each scan displays a real-time glucose result, a historical trend and the direction the glucose is heading. The reader holds up to 90 days of data, providing a historical snapshot of glucose levels over time. The Abbott FreeStyle Libre software enables the data to be presented in a user-friendly, visual chart enabling a more productive discussion with healthcare professionals around treatment and any necessary modification to it.
Prof. Donal O’Shea, a Consultant Endocrinologist and Physician at St Vincent’s University Hospital said: The Abbott FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system is a potential game changer in diabetes management for both patients and healthcare professionals. It provides comprehensive data about sugar levels and insight into patterns that might otherwise be missed, such as night time low sugars. When people with diabetes don’t monitor their sugar levels accurately and regularly complications develop over time. The challenge now for individuals with diabetes and the diabetes team they work with will be mature and sensible use of the massive amount of additional information that the FreeStyle Libre system gives us. Then, the comprehensive picture of glucose levels that the FreeStyle Libre system provides should lead to better diabetes management”.
In the absence of a register of people who have diabetes in Ireland it is impossible to say with complete accuracy how many people are living with diabetes in Ireland. However The International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas (2015) estimated that in 2015 there were 171,800 people in the 20 – 79 age group with diabetes in Ireland and that by 2040 there will be 247,800 people with the condition. The Irish CODEIRE study suggested the annual cost of treating diabetes in Ireland is 10% of the annual health budget.
Dr. Anna Clarke, Health Promotion and Research Manager, Diabetes Ireland said: “The FreeStyle Libre system significantly advances the field of glucose monitoring, providing people with a real-time glucose value, a view of their glucose trend (increasing or decreasing) and a trend graph showing glucose levels in the previous 8 hours. Many parents of children with Type 1 Diabetes or adults with Type 1 have been waiting on this new technology to become available. At this time it is available to purchase but we do hope it will be available to purchase under the GMS system in the coming months”.
For more information or to order Abbott Freestyle Libre, go to www.freestylelibre.ie